Music Genres and Capitalization – Rules for Writers

In the world of music, there are countless genres and sub-genres that have emerged over the years. From classical to hip hop, each genre has its own unique style and sound. But what about capitalization? Should music genres be capitalized? In this article, we will explore the rules of capitalization when it comes to music genres.

First and foremost, it is important to understand that most music genres are not proper nouns and theefore should not be capitalized. This includes genres like blues, rock ‘n’ roll, and classical. These are all considered common nouns and should be written in lowercase.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, R&B is an abbreviation for rhythm and blues. In this case, both letters should be capitalized as they are part of the abbreviation. While it may be recognizable to write both letters in lowercase, most professional publications capitalize both letters when referring to this genre.

Another exception to the rule is when a genre is named after a specific place or person. For example, the genre of reggae originated in Jamaica and is often associated with the late Bob Marley. In these cases, the name of the place or person is considered a proper noun and should be capitalized.

It is also worth noting that some genres have multiple spellings or variations. For example, the genre of hip hop can also be spelled as hip-hop or even hip hop. In these cases, it is important to be consistent with whichever spelling you choose to use.

Most music genres should be written in lowercase as they are considered common nouns. However, there are exceptions to this rule such as R&B and genres named after specific places or people. It is important to be consistent with spelling and to avoid using unnecessary capitalization.

As a writer, it is important to pay attention to the rules of capitalization when referring to music genres. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your writing is accurate and professional.

Should Pop Rock Be Capitalized?

Pop rock is a music genre that consists of a combination of pop and rock elements. As a general rule, music genres are not proper nouns and should not be capitalized unless they are part of a title or at the beginning of a sentence. Therefore, pop rock should not be capitalized unless it appears as part of a title or at the beginning of a sentence.

pop rock 1686558030

Is The Rock Genre Capitalized?

The rock genre is not capitalized. In fact, most music genres, including rock, are written in lowercase letters. It is important to use proper capitalization when referring to specific band names or album titles within the genre, but when discussing the genre itself, it should be written in lowercase.

Do You Capitalize Rhythm And Blues?

It is recommended to capitalize both letters in “Rhythm and Blues” since it is a proper noun and a specific genre of music. The acronym “R&B” is derived from “Rhythm and Blues,” so it is also commonly capitalized in the same way. Capitalizing the letters in this genre is a standard practice in the music industry and is commonly used in professional publications. While it may be recognizable in lowercase, it is more appropriate to follow the standard capitalization. This ensures consistency in communication and helps to avoid confusion.


Music genres play a significant role in shaping the music industry and providig fans with a variety of musical styles to enjoy. While some genres are more popular than others, it’s important to understand that all music genres have their own unique characteristics and history. It is also essential to note that proper capitalization of music genres is crucial to presenting a polished and professional piece of writing. As music continues to evolve, new genres will undoubtedly emerge, and it’s up to us as music enthusiasts to embrace and appreciate them. By acknowledging and respecting the diversity of music genres, we can continue to enjoy the power of music in all its forms.

Photo of author

William Armstrong

William Armstrong is a senior editor with, where he writes on a wide variety of topics. He has also worked as a radio reporter and holds a degree from Moody College of Communication. William was born in Denton, TX and currently resides in Austin.